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Republicans will sue to block court-drawn Pennsylvania congressional map

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State and national Republican officials will file a federal lawsuit as soon as Wednesday seeking to block a new Pennsylvania congressional map released on Monday by the state’s high court, the party’s congressional campaign arm said on Tuesday.

The new map would give Democrats better odds of capturing as many as half a dozen U.S. House of Representatives seats in Pennsylvania, where Republicans currently hold 13 of the 18 seats. The Democrats need to flip 24 seats nationally in November’s mid-term elections to retake control of the House.

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court drew a new map for the state’s 18 congressional districts after previously invalidating the existing lines as an unconstitutional gerrymander, finding that the Republican-controlled legislature drew them to marginalize Democratic voters.

“The suit will highlight the state Supreme Court’s rushed decision that created chaos, confusion, and unnecessary expense in the 2018 election cycle,” Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.

The court stepped in after lawmakers and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf failed to reach consensus on a new map last week.

Republican U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday encouraged Republicans to sue.

“Hope Republicans in the Great State of Pennsylvania challenge the new ‘pushed’ Congressional Map, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary,” he wrote on Twitter. “Your Original was correct! Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!”

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Republican leaders in the state legislature said in a statement on Monday that implementing a map “would create a constitutional crisis where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is usurping the authority of the legislative and executive branches.”

Michael Li, a redistricting expert at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school, pointed out that courts in other states have drawn maps in advance of elections when necessary.

“I think it is the mother of all Hail Marys in terms of its likelihood to succeed for any number of legal and other reasons,” he said.

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The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal of the Pennsylvania court’s initial ruling earlier this month.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Trump appears to have pocketed $123,000 from Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi: NYT bombshell

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The information contained within President Donald Trump's continues to result in blockbuster stories by The New York Times.

On Friday, the newspaper focused on Trump's claims of philanthropy -- which don't always add up.

"In 2009, for example, he agreed to rent his Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, N.Y., to the Libyan dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, who hoped to stay in a tent on the grounds during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly," the newspaper reported.

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2020 Election

NYT bombshell on Trump’s taxes proves his philanthropic claims ‘don’t always add up’

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A new report by The New York Times Friday afternoon is diving into President Donald J. Trump's hidden financial records that "cast doubt on a number of his charitable commitments and show that most of his giving came from land deals that offset his income."

Trump wrote in his book, Trump 101: The Way to Success, “If you don’t give back, you’re never ever going to be fulfilled in life," but his philanthropic endeavors do not seem to add up. According to his tax records, The New York Times reported Friday that Trump has given back "at least $130 million since 2005, his second year as a reality TV star on NBC's The Apprentice. But of that amount, "the vast bulk of his charitable tax deductions, $119.3 million worth, came from simply agreeing not to develop land — in several cases, after he had shelved development plans."

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2020 Election

Trump acts out his Superman fantasy for Florida seniors at campaign rally

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It's not the first time President Donald J. Trump has acted out his apparent Superman fixation at one of his superspreader rallies - and it certainly doesn't appear it will be his last.

“In several phone calls last weekend from the presidential suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Mr. Trump shared an idea he was considering: When he left the hospital, he wanted to appear frail at first when people saw him, according to people with knowledge of the conversations. But underneath his button-down dress shirt, he would wear a Superman T-shirt, which he would reveal as a symbol of strength when he ripped open the top layer,” The Times reported earlier this month.

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